The over-55s account for one in four jobless benefit claims

One in four people claiming unemployment benefit in December last year was aged 55 to 65, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Five years ago, almost one in four ww benefit claimants was over the age of 55.

At the same time, the total number of claims has gone up 150% to 340,000 and there has been a sharp rise in 45 to 55-year-olds claiming benefit as the economic crisis bites.

The maximum claim has also been cut from 60 months to 38 months, which has also reduced the number of older claimants.

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